Friday, December 14, 2018

Get Out of Town!

(Originally published in the Miami News-Record)

Given the fact we have had a slight stay in the usual October busy-ness at work, I had this brilliant plan to take a little quick weekend trip, just Paul and me. I should know that my plans never go as planned. He himmed and hawed as to whether we even *should* go, given Petal is a colicky, angry baby and Wemberly has just learned to walk and is cutting six teeth at once. He felt like we should stick close in case Abby needed us. I felt like I had threatened Dakota with his very life enough to be super helpful that we could safely leave town for a few days. Kady was going to see family down by Stillwater and we didn’t have to worry about finding a place for her to crash and I all but begged him to just relax, let it go, and for crying out loud, GET ME OUT OF TOWN. He relented. I think he finally saw the crazy in my eyes.

Work ran late on Thursday and I started to feel panicky he was even going to stick with the plan, but finally we got out of there. I hadn’t made any reservations or packed due to the fact he’s wishy-washy as all get out, so while I threw clothes in a bag I was scouring the Internet for a motel near Mt. Vernon since we wanted to check out Apple Butter Makin’ Days. Reservation made, bags packed, kisses doled out to grandbabies, we flew down the road. When we got to Seneca he said, “Go ahead and put the address in the GPS and we’ll see how long before we get there.” I pulled up my confirmation email and immediately realized I had made the reservation for Mt. Vernon ILLINOIS. I called Illinois to cancel, couldn’t find a room in Missouri any closer than Monett, but finally got a reservation. It was 8pm. We hadn’t had dinner. I was frustrated. Once we got to Monett I still couldn’t relax because I still had to find a place for us in Branson for the rest of the weekend. Fortunately I found a cabin fairly quickly that boasted seclusion and peaceful wooded serenity. I was sold. I could’ve cost $8,754 a night and I’d have been sold.

The next morning we drove into Mt. Vernon, took one look at the gigantic crowd of folks high on natural fruit sugar by way of inordinate amounts of apple butter, turned our Camry around and headed on to Branson. We shopped, we looked at the leaves, we talked, we laughed, we even held hands as we walked. Okay, really it was more of me dragging him by the hand from The Disney Store to Baby Gap to Osh Kosh and beyond. He was a trooper, though. Around 4 we decided we were tired so we headed out of town toward the cabin. The directions from the owner and the GPS didn’t quite match, but that’s not uncommon.

We ended up at the wrong entrance – the entrance where the fancy, rich owners of the glorious homes nestled in the woods go in. A quick call to the owner and we were back on track and went in thorough the back entrance. Then we got lost inside the resort. A security guard led us to our “secluded” cabin which was actually a duplex in a long row of duplexes. They’ve apparently never seen Hooverton Mountain. We know seclusion. The floor squeaked, there was a strange buzzing hum whenever you ran water, and Saturday morning a track hoe woke us up at 7:03am. But we got an early start to our day of more shopping and ended it with seeing Six, the a capella group.

There’s significantly less crazy in my eyes this week and my Christmas shopping is about 35% done. And if winter will hold off a little longer I can probably convince him another trip is in order. Or I might just shop online. In proper seclusion on the Mountain.



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